Saturday, September 14, 2013

Summer Days


The days pass slowly, repeating the same routine day after day. The heat and humidity make it impossible to work outside except for brief periods in the morning and sitting inside all day has sapped the energy out of us. We vow we will not spend another summer like this again. Next summer will be different, we just don't know how.

Upper Deck

Despite our gloom, we've had some major projects done on the boat by the local workers who seem able to work in the heat. They recaulked the upper deck, steps to upper deck ,and forward hatch, two additional solar panels have been installed and the hull has been polished making it look like new (see previous post).

And we count the days until we can get out of here ( target departure date is November 1st).

Luis Polishing Hull

Mid August to mid September seems to be the rainy season here as storms form inland and work their way out to sea and the occasional tropical storm passes north a couple hundred miles to the west. Last weekend we got 6" of rain in a 36 hour period and it rains overnight most days.

Our current plan is to head south to Banderas Bay and then further south to Tenacatita and Barra de Navidad. We hope to find a quiet bay with warm water and stay for weeks on end only coming back to port to reprovision. This will recharge our spirits and perhaps provide us with some clarity on what to do next. We feel like the victims of too many options; sell the boat/stay on the boat, stay in Mexico/go to Panama, find another summer activity/who knows what. Poor us, we know, stop your whining and just enjoy life.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Summer Project–Polishing the Hull


Our hull is painted with AWLGrip paint over black gel coat. The color is a mix of AWLGrip dark green and black and you can only see the green if it’s in direct sun light. Over the last 5 years in Mexico the hull had developed a grey smear on it from the hard water, particularly in Ensenada where they have the most brackish dock water we have ever seen. You might as well be washing your boat with sea water. We’ve tried scrubbing the hull with no luck and were afraid that the only solution might be to have it repainted. You can’t wax the paint, the wax will turn yellow over time.

I started searching the internet for help and found a thread on the Cruisers Forum on AWLGrip paint and it was recommended to use AWLCare polish on the paint to seal and restore it. I ordered some, at $60 per quart, but when we used it it only seemed to make it worse. Smearing the grey rather than removing it. After that I contacted the AWLGrip rep in California and sent him some pictures of the hull. He suggested that we polish the hull first with 3M Perfect-It rubbing compound to remove the water spots and dirt and then apply the AWLCare to seal the paint. We hired a local young man in the marina, Luis, to do the job and the results were fantastic. It looks like new paint! Here’s some before and after pictures.


Before -





Half and Half -




After -





Hopefully from now on all we’ll need to do is apply the sealer every 6 months to keep it looking this good.


Technorati Tags: ,

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Another Tucson Road Trip

Technorati Tags: ,,

Another road trip to Tucson to pick up project supplies and parts. This was a big haul with 26 packages for us at the UPS mailbox store and another 10 items waiting at West Marine in Tempe. This time we house sat in Tucson at a very nice and comfortable home of some friends who were travelling up north. It was nice to stay in a house rather than a motel. It's like really living on land like everyone else and gives you a taste of what your missing. Love that high speed internet.

I guess you can tell you're not ready to move off of the boat when you are in a hurry to return to your home on the water after spending a week in a nice house. We're still boat people.

It's 850 miles from Maz to Tucson and another 175 to Phoenix so it's over a two thousand mile trip up and back. Going north we stayed in San Carlos at the Best Western, like last time, but I don't think we'll do it again. They've got a new "boss" and we had to make a 500 peso deposit because we paid in cash and they put us on the second floor and the a/c was located right next, like 6 inches, from the bed and blasted cold air on Linda all night despite her efforts to build a barrier out of a luggage rack and bath towels. We also had dinner at Tequila's restaurant that we used to like a lot when we had the boat here 4 years ago but now that place didn't seem so good. Maybe it's us. When we had the boat here we were newbies and enjoyed the place. Now after 4 years in Mexico San Carlos seems like a gringo town and not like the rest of Mexico. It's all a matter of perspective.

On the whole it was a good trip. The roads up north seemed beat up and the tolls get higher as you go south but they are working on the roads so maybe the money is going to a good cause.

Now that we have a boat load of parts the real work begins just as the hot weather kicks in.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Spanish Lesson



We got a quick Spanish lesson from the waiter at a restaurant called 'Social' in Maz. He asked us our names and when I said Frank he said 'Fransico or Pancho for short'. We didn't know that.

Linda is Spanish for 'pretty, complete, perfect'. Of course we all knew that.

The picture above is from Wikipedia of Fransico Villa, more commonly known by his nickname Pancho, a prominent Mexican Revolutionary general.

You can call me Pancho and Linda is as always, linda.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

It's a Gift

Paseo Clausen

It’s getting hot! The heat and humidity are going up in Mazatlan and it’s only June. Days are now in the low 90's while the humidity is in the 70's, sometimes into the low 80’s. We keep at least one a/c on 24 hours a day and sometimes 2 in the afternoon. We have three ac units on the boat but we try not to cool the areas where we are not. The heat and humidity really effect you outside so we have slowed down on our outside projects and curtailed our trips around town.

We made a run up to Tucson already to get some project supplies and see some friends. It's about an 18 hour trip and we make one overnight stop along the way. Highway 15 is fairly nice and there are plenty of places to stop for food and gas and lots of good motels. The roads in the northern half in Sonora are the worst but the highway in Sinaloa are very good. The car stopped running while in Tucson, just refused to start one morning, and we took it to a shop recommended by some friends. It turned out the 'computer' that controls all the electronics had died and because the car is 20 years old they had to get a replacement out of Pennsylvania that took 3 days, so we sat in the motel watching TV waiting for the car. We've had the car since new, 20 years now, and it has 220K miles on her. As the mechanic said "After all this time and miles it has paid for its self and she owes us nothing. Every time she starts it's a gift". It was 108⁰ (but dry) in the afternoon, so without a car we couldn't walk around too much except in the evening. We'll be making another run up north in late July for more parts and do a little house sitting for our friends Jennifer and Dean.

We're trying to keep busy inside the boat without going too mad but we're already looking forward to leaving in November.

It's going to be a long summer.

The picture is of the beach off of Paseo (avenue) Clausen with the Mazatlan skyline behind. There are statues all along the city beaches throughout Mexico.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Settling into Mazatlan

Morning in Paradise

Another morning in paradise.

We made it back to Mazatlan and have started to settle in for the summer. We’re looking forward to the 5 months of heat and tied to a dock, well, not really. We both enjoy being on anchor rather than in a marina but during the hurricane season, and the summer heat, you need to be in a marina for the protection and electricity so you can run the a/c. At least we have our car so we can explore the city and area and get to the grocery store without having to walk a great distance.

While were here we will get some projects done and order some items that we can pick up in Tucson. There are skilled workman here so we can get help with some of the larger projects and things we just can't manage on our own. We'll try to post some pictures as we go along.

Marina life seems to stifle the adventure of boating. You get to work on the boat without the pleasure of using the boat.

One feature of marina life is we now have internet via WiFi, it's a slow but functional connection. The downside of being on the internet is that you're exposed to all the sad and depressing stories of what is going on in the world. Life in the US seems to be a drag and we're glad we're here and not struggling up north. We watched an episode of Saturday Night Live the other night and didn't get most of the jokes. It just didn't make any sense to us and we realized just how out of touch we are with contemporary life in the US. It just reinforces to us how lucky we are to be doing what we're doing.

Here’s where we went during the last 6 months,

Arrival Date Place Lat/Lon Location
1/23/13 Marina Mazatlan 23.270617 N 106.454600 W
2/25/13 Punta de Mita 20.764783 N 105.515417 W
2/26/13 Marina Vallarta
3/6/13 Punta de Mita 20.760133 N 105.521433 W
3/7/13 Chamela 19.582583 N 105.130950 W
3/12/13 Tenacatita 19.302400 N 104.835550 W
3/17/13 Barra de Navidad - Lagoon 19°11.462'N  104°40.362'W
3/19/13 Barra de Navidad - Marina 19.195200 N 104.682017 W
3/22/13 Ensenada Carrizal 19.096400 N 104.437700 W
3/25/13 Santiago Bay 19.108967 N 104.393967 W
3/29/13 las Hadas 19.102400 N 104.343600 W
3/30/13 Santiago 19.109683 N 104.395183 W
3/31/13 Tenacatita 19.299217 N 104.837783 W
4/6/13 Barra de Navidad - Marina 19.195200 N 104.682017 W
4/18/13 Tenacatita 19.298417 N 104.838117 W


19°28.342'N  105°03.639'W
4/25/13 La Cruz – Anchorage 20°44.891'N  105°22.136'W
4/26/13 La Cruz - Marina 20°44.920'N  105°22.690'W
5/10/13 Punta de Mita 20.764733 N 105.520400 W
5/11/13 San Blas - Matanchen Bay 21.517183 N 105.241800 W
5/13/13 Stone Island - Mazatlan 23°10.910'N  106°24.545'W
5/14/13 Marina Mazatlan 23.270650 N 106.454833 W

Morning Commute

The morning commute in Bara de Navidad lagoon.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mexican Riviera


We have spent the last month on the Mexican Riviera bouncing back and forth between Bahia Tenecatita and Manzanillo with stops in Barra de Navidad Marina (twice) and lagoon, Ensenada Carrizal, Santiago Bay (twice), and Las Hadas. We arrived in this area in the middle of March and the cruising season had already started to come to an end and most of the boats had left to head north into the Sea or south to Central America. We were in this area 3 years ago at the height of the season and all of the bays were packed with boats so it was nice this time to have some space. We were in Manzanillo and Santiago during 'Semana Santa', Easter week and the beaches were packed with people with jet skies and water skiers zooming throughout the bays.

Highlights -

Barra de Navidad - This town is full of decadent treats for boaters.

First is the French Baker, an honest to goodness Frenchman who has a bakery in town and delivers to the boats at anchor and in the marina fresh baked pastries, bread, and pies every day (except Wednesday). His French Bakery store in town has all of the fresh baked items plus the best coffee in town.

Second, the water taxi system for those on anchor in the lagoon or for those on one side of the lagoon (e.g. the resort marina) who wish to get to town. For 20 pesos each return it is a great trip and adds to the magic of the place.

Third, the town of Barra which is a laid back tourist town with some great restaurants. You can eat here daily and never get bored. It's not the cheapest place but is moderately priced. If only they had a good fish taco stand.

Super Hawii - Mulaque

The Super Hawaii grocery store in Malaque. Get on the bus in Barra and take the 15 minute ride to Malaque to get to one of the best grocery stores we have found outside of a big city. They have Tillimok Cheese, boxed wine, Miracle Whip, pretzels, good coffee, and pickles. All it lacks is a fresh meat dept. It's doesn't look like much from the street but it is a treasure.

Barra Marina

Big Bay Resort & Marina. We never stay in resort marinas but we did this time because we heard they lowered their prices to $.60 pre foot per day from the normal $2.60 per foot they have charged in the past. For us that's $27.60 vs. $120 per day. For that price you can live in a 5 star resort like a rich person without going broke.

Manzanillo & Bahia Santiago

Bahia Santiago is a large, open bay that provides great protection from any weather from the north and some protection from west or south seas. It has great holding in 30' of water and could hold dozens of boats. When we were there it was busy with all of the vacationers but we had fun watching all of the entertainment for a few days. After awhile the constant buzzing by the jet skies became tiring and we decided to move on.

Las Hadas

The anchorage in Manzanillo is off of the Las Hadas resort in a small bay surrounded by hotels and condos. We took the dinghy into the resort marina and grabbed a taxi over to the shopping area and bought some supplies and had a latte at Starbucks. We also went out to dinner at the Paradise restaurant with some friends anchored in the bay. The food was disappointing and overpriced but the company was good. Again the bay was full of jet skies and water skiers and the music from the disco lasted until early in the morning so we only spent one night there.

Ensenada Carrizal

This bay was a pleasant surprise. Located just 5 miles north of Santiago it has no houses or development, just steep, rocky sides with a small beach at the head of the bay. The bay is opened and gets waves bouncing around off of the rock walls but it's like a little bit of wilderness along this coast. There are also some blow holes on the outer end of the bay that are fun to explore in the dinghy and provide a periodic booming sound around the clock.


We first arrived in this area in mid March and the daytime highs and humidity were in the mid 80's but in April the temps dropped to the high 70's and the humidity was around 65 making it very nice to walk around town and work on the boat. Water temps were around 80 in most locations so we swam almost everyday while on anchor.

After 2 weeks in Barra de Navidad at the marina we are leaving to head north. First stop will be Tenacatita for a few days and then work our way to La Cruz in Banderas Bay for 2 weeks before returning to Mazatlan for the summer.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Maz to Banderas Bay

We departed Maz at 8:30 AM and arrived at Punta Mita, the anchorage on the outer end of Banderas Bay, at 10:30 AM the following day after a very quick ride down the coast. We had a .5 kt current pushing us with gentle seas from behind and we arrived nearly a day before we planed. The boat performed perfectly, as usual, with the only problem being the Si-Tex AIS unit continually losing it's USB connection to the PC. We've talked with Si-Tex about this and they said we need to return the unit to them for a software upgrade. It pisses us off when companies think nothing of requiring you to send the product back to them so they can fix a problem that should have not been there in the first place. For most people in the States, daily FedEx deliveries happen all the time, just try that from Mex and have it get lost in Custom's black hole, on both sides of the border. So the AIS fix will be another summer project. Enough of that rant...
There are a lot of large fishing boats along the coast that you need to watch out for but that gives you something to do on night watch. They are lit up like a Christmas tree and are slow moving or stationary and have a strong radar image so they are easy to see and avoid. They look like they are fishing for shrimp with large baskets hanging from outrigger poles.
The anchorage in Punta Mita is spacious with good holding but rolly from swells wrapping around from the point. It was windy when we arrived, 10 to 20 kts, which was higher than any winds we saw on the outside. It seems Mother Nature does not like anchorages and makes them windier than any area around them.
Marina vallarta
The next morning we pulled anchor and went into Marina Vallarta, an older marina located close to downtown PV. The marina is ringed by an older development of condos and timeshare apartments with many shops and restaurants around the parameter of the marina. We were here 3 years ago and enjoyed the older feel of the place. We had read that the place was starting to run down and people are advised not to go there but that just made it more attractive to us. We called the marina and they said to pick any open slip on H dock, there are many open slips so just pick one. When we arrived and pulled into a slip we were told by the security guard that there was no power in the empty slips and to go to N dock. So we pulled out and went to N only to find it was in worse condition with missing finger piers and no power either. In frustration we tied up at an empty slip and went to the office where they assured us they would send out an electrician and get the power working at our slip. 3 hours latter the electrician showed up and fixed our power so we decided to stay and settled in. The marina is the kind of place that people describe as 'having charm' and despite the run down state there are a lot of mega yachts here and we kind of like the place. We may never return here in the future but we're here now so we'll make the best of it.
We had a good week here, eating out a lot and just walking around. PV is a fun place. One thing we found out in talking to other boaters is that Marina Vallarta might be the most expensive marina in the bay. Paradise Village Marina, a resort marina will all the extras, is renting for $0.50 a foot per day and the La Cruz Marina is similar. We're paying $42 per day for our 46' boat in Marina Vallarta which comes out to around $.75 per foot plus tax.
Donut Lady
One thing that Marina Vallarta has that we’ve never seen before is a Donut Lady. Everyday she walks the docks with a tray of fresh donuts for 10 pesos each, less than a US dollar. You gotta love Mexico.
We’re heading south this week to spend some time on anchor, out of the marinas.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tucson & Plans


Life has thrown us another small curve. Two months ago we were planning to leave for Panama, then our departure from Ensenada got delayed by a couple of weeks and then the weather turned to crap and we had to wait another 3 weeks to get some half way decent weather. The trip to Panama started to look like a rush so we decided to spend another season in MX and summer over in La Paz. Not a bad plan, go down to Mazatlan and then Puerto Vallarta for a couple of months and then return to the Sea in the Spring and be in La Paz by July. Then Linda's son and wife who live in Tucson decided to move to Indianapolis (Indianapolis???) where her family are. Great, but we stored our Jeep with them in Tucson and they kind of act as our home base up north. So we need to do something with the car and it would be nice to see them one more time before they leave so lets go to Tucson now, say our goodbyes, get the car, drive it to La Paz and store it there until we get back in June. Oh wait, did I mention that we decided to stay in Mazatlan for the summer, not la Paz., so we'll drive to Maz and store the car in the Marina until summer. The boat is in Maz and we can leave it there while we hop back to the States. Change of plans happen and we're getting pretty good at this last minute stuff. Ok, lets buy some tickets, tell people when we'll arrive and hope things don't change again in the next 2 weeks. Oh boy.

So we flew from Mazatlan to Phoenix, rented a car to drive to Tucson where we got our Jeep. We spent 2 days at Linda's sons house where we tried not to get in their way while they packed for their move to Indianapolis and drove to Phoenix to see some old friends. The next day we headed south, stopped at Tucson to see how the move was going and then continued to Nogales and Mexico.

Some thoughts and observations along the way.

Flying sucks. Drive whenever possible. The two hour flight from Maz to Phoenix is expensive, $360 each, and the hassle of airports and TSA should be avoided whenever possible.

Heading south it took us awhile to get to the border and then some more time to get our visas and import permit for the car so we didn't make it very far the first day. We stopped in Santa Ana at the Elba hotel which is very nice but noisy being right on the highway, with our room overlooking the road, and with a late arriving and early departing family on either side of our room. Oh, the bed was as so hard we might as well have slept on the floor.

The plan for the second night was to stop in Navojoa south of Obregon but there was a national basketball championship going on and there were no vacancies in any of the nice hotels along the highway. That was too bad because it looked like a very nice town with plenty of hotels and restaurants. So on we went to Los Mochis arriving at 5 PM and immediately got totally lost in the city trying to find a Best Western that was advertised on the highway. We eventually stopped at a City Express hotel that was a very clean 7 story building with plain but functional roomswith very hard beds.

Los Mochis is an attractive city of 250,000 people with at least 2 WalMarts. We know because we drove past both of them while looking for a hotel.

Sinaloa is known to some as the headquarters for the 'Sinaloa Cartel', one of the largest drug cartels in Mexico. What we didn't know until we drove through it is that it has a large agricultural industry that looks very prosperous. Linda said it reminded her of driving through Iowa, mile after mile of corn fields.

The road trip down highway 15 was very pleasant. There are plenty of services along the way and the roads are ok, not great, with some construction along the way but nothing that slows you down too much. Highway 15 is a toll road all the way, it costs us $65 USD in tolls to get from the border to Mazatlan.

Now that we're back in Maz we are getting ready to head south to PV and try to find some warmer weather. We plan to return to Maz in June for the summer. We are leaving the car in the marina parking lot and we still need to decide what to do with the car next season when we head to Panama. That's a long time from now so we'll see what happens then. No use making plans now.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Some Pictures from Baja


Enrique's boat dock in Turtle Bay

This is Enrique’s dock in Turtle Bay. Zoom in and you can see the stairs leading from the pier deck to the float below.


Friends at night - Turtle Bay

Look carefully and you can see 3 of many pelicans that would congregate around our boat at night in Turtle Bay. The light from our interior lights in the evening would attract fish that in turn would attract pelicans.


MX Navy anchored next to us - Punta Belcher Mag Bay 

Mexican navy ship that anchored near us in Mag Bay and in Turtle Bay. In TB the zodiac on the bow was lowered into the water and went around with crew to inspect all the cruiser’s papers, including ours. They were very nice guys.

Sea Turtle

We came across dozens of sea turtles south of Mag Bay. The water was very calm so they were easy to see.

Turtles south of Mag Bay

For a little perspective, this is what they look like from a hundred feet away. It’s amazing what the eye can pick out.

Big Whale

This big grey was less than a hundred feet from the boat. No missing him.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


We finally made it to Mazatlan. We had an uncomfortable crossing from the south tip of Baja due to choppy seas hitting us right on the beam but the worst part was we didn't get any sleep for the 26 hour crossing. We arrived tired but happy to be back in Mazatlan.


Stats for Trip - Ensenada to Mazatlan


Nautical Miles


Days Total


Days Underway


Fuel Used (gal)


Engine Hours






We’ll post some pictures as soon as we get a decent internet connection. The wifi in Marina Mazatlan doesn’t work most of the time and when it does it is very slow.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Day In Turtle Bay

Tuesday we decided to go ashore to walk around and get some supplies. Turtle Bay has a water taxi service to shuttle cruisers in and out from the old pier, a left over from the fishing industry that used to exist here some 50 years ago, so we called Enrique who runs the taxi on the VHF. No answer so we tried again in an hour. No answer. We tried calling for the rest of Tuesday with no luck. Our dinghy was stored on our top deck, packed full of equipment, and we didn't feel like going to all of the trouble of getting it down so we just waited.

Wednesday morning we called Enrique again and got a weak reply. He said he could come out and get us in a few minutes. Great, we hurried to get dressed and ready. After getting ready we came back up to the pilothouse to discover a small sailboat that had been anchored in the bay with two young people on board was drifting just feet off our bow. They had decided to move closer to shore and were having trouble sailing in the lite winds, apparently having no motor, and had drifted into us. As the young man fended their boat off I ran up to our top deck to pull in the starboard paravane so their mast would not get entangled in it as they drifted past us. They said that they had encountered 50' seas two days before and had broken their boom and ripped out some of their lifeline stanchions. The young woman at the helm said she wanted off the boat, NOW! He said that they wanted to find a place to rent in town while they sorted out what to do. I'm not sure they had been to town yet, there are not a lot of rental properties available in Turtle Bay. They regained control their boat and managed to sail closer to shore and re-anchor.

After our close encounter with the sailboat, we settled down and waited for the water taxi to arrive. One and a half hours later we saw Enrique drive down the pier, get in his panga and head out for us. As Enrique took us ashore we asked him if he could take us back in 2 hours and he said “si senor, no problem”.

The pier is located in front of the empty shell of the old fish processing plant. The plant was abandoned decades ago and stripped of all it's equipment and most of the exterior walls. The pier appears not to have been maintained since the plant closed. There is a float tied to the end of the pier with rusted steps leading up 20' feet to the pier above. The steps looked like they were ripped out of the old plant and tacked to the side of the pier deck and the float needs to be pulled close enough so you could stretch your leg out to reach the bottom step. Once on the pier you walk 100' feet or so down the deck past a flock of seagulls. The stench from the years of bird poop is gagging, it's the type of smell that you can taste even that night as you lay in bed. Unlike the fishing piers up North that get washed regularly from the rains, here the bird shit just dries, layer on layer, year after year, decade after decade, never getting washed off.

Once off the pier, you are in the town with it's small cottage like houses packed close to each other and facing right on the dirt streets. What is striking is the amount of car traffic. TB is located 20 miles via a dirt road to highway 1 and then it's another 30 miles or so to the next small town. You can walk from one end of TB to the other in 20 minutes. Where are all these people going in their cars?

We walked to the far end of town to an auto parts store to get some fuses and then stopped at a nice tienda and bought some milk, bread, tomatoes, and chips. We were hoping to find a restaurant to have lunch but the only two places we saw were closed so we walked back to the hotel near the water and had lunch there. We were here 4 years ago and are familiar with the town. The hotel is nice but not fancy and they were only serving breakfast at that time so we had some eggs.

Leaving the hotel we ran into the young couple from the sailboat that we had the close encounter with earlier. They were looking to get a room at the hotel. They said that they had left Ensenada 6 days before with their 2 dogs and 2 cats and were blown out to Guadalupe Islands some 200 KM NW of Turtle Bay where there were high winds and 50' seas and they lost their boom and ripped out at least one stanchion leaving a hole in the deck that let the seas into the interior getting everything wet. They jerry-rigged the main sail so they could sail into TB and she wanted to catch a bus back to San Diego, (NOW!) and he was talking about sailing the boat back north. TB is not a good place to be stranded with a broken boat, there are no marina services here, the nearest help is 300 KM north in Ensenada which is an upwind sail all the way. A difficult sail for an experienced crew in a good boat in the winter but nearly impossible in a small boat with no boom or engine. Going down wind to La Paz would be more practical but that's 600 KM. We wished them luck and headed to the pier.

Returning early to the head of the pier at 1:30 there was no sign of Enrique so we walked down the beach and rested on a stone wall surrounding the town square. People waved from every car that went by but we still had no idea where they were all going. Many of the cars had mom and the kids in them so maybe they were just going to and from the schools. Anyhow, around 2 we walked back to the pier hoping to see Enrique but no luck. A young man walked by on the beach and asked if we were waiting for Enrique and offered to call him and disappeared between two buildings. After a couple of minutes I followed after him finding him talking to a person working on a car. He said something about not finding Enrique and I should call him on my radio, "maybe he was asleep somewhere" he said. He then walked down the beach about 100', talked briefly to a man in a parked truck and laid down on the sand and went to sleep himself.

So we called Enrique on our portable VHF radio, no answer. Called again, nothing. We thought we'd walk out to the end of the pier, Linda thought there was a radio out there that might be stronger than ours. So out we walked through the shit fields, trying to hold our breaths but not succeeding, gagging in the process. Yes, there is a radio on the end of the pier, you can see it through the window in the locked shed. So we stood out there for awhile, time seemed to be slowing down, we didn't have a watch with us and we didn't have a lot of confidence in the time on our iPod. So we tried to relax, enjoy the Mexican culture, their lax sense of time and deadlines while we tried to figure out what we would do if Enrique never showed up and it started to get dark. The hotel was only 3 blocks away and it didn't look too bad. We decided to return to the beach and try to find a place in the shade to sit. Back past the gulls, gag, gag, and down the rickety planks. As we walked down the beach a young man wearing an old green t-shirt and a baseball cap on backwards asked if we needed a water taxi. We said yes and that Enrique was supposed to be there. The young man said Enrique called him and that he would take us back to our boat. Back down the pier, past the gulls, I'm sure that our cloths will smell of this until they are washed, and down the metal steps to the float and the panga.

It was great to be back home on the boat. We had waited 1 1/2 hours for Enrique to pick us up and 1 1/2 hours for our return ride. It looks like the weather may improve so we can get out of here Sunday so we're staying on the boat until then.

In Mexico just going to town can be an adventure.


Technorati Tags: ,,

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bahia Tortuga - Turtle Bay

Location: 27°41.10'N, 114°53.40'W

At anchor in Turtle Bay.

We had a good trip down to Turtle Bay. For the first two days the seas were gentle with long period swells from behind us and then turned lumpy near the north end of Cedros Island making the ride uncomfortable for 6 hours. Once we got around the east side of the island we were protected from the chop. In Dewey Canal at Punta Eugenia we ran into a field of lobster pot floats that the local fisherman had laid out. We had to stop twice to free pots from the paravane fish. We got into Turtle Bay in mid afternoon very tired from the trip. We are out of practice and the seas wore us out. That night we both slept soundly for nearly 12 hours.

The boat performed well as usual but there were a few items that will need fixing. A boat is constantly deteriorating and after 7 months of sitting in a marina there are always things that stop working for some mysterious reason. The hailer loudspeaker in the front of the boat doesn't work (died from old age it seems), there are couple of dash lights out, the AIS transponder stopped talking to the PC while underway (works fine sitting still), a switch on the paravane control that raises and lowers the fish doesn't work, and a few other minor issues. Nothing that impaired the basic systems or safety of the boat , just trivial stuff that we started working on once we got some rest.

The winter weather pattern continues. It looks like it's going to blow again Fri-Sat so we'll stay here until it settles. We could leave here Tues in fair weather but we can't get anywhere well protected before Friday so here we'll sit. We need a good 4 days to get to Bahia Santa Maria (see 'the plan' in previous post). What are we doing out here this time of year? Was Ensenada bad enough to chase us out here? It seems so. Turtle Bay is a well protected anchorage with a small village that we can walk around in so it's not too bad. It's good to be out of the marina and back on the water cruising. We don't have a schedule, no place to be and no hurry to get there.

Life is good.

Technorati Tags: ,,

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Heading South - The Plan

At least we like to pretend we have a plan.

It looks like we'll be getting out of here this Thursday, 3 January, after waiting 3 weeks for a break in the nasty weather rolling in from the north. Here is the preliminary plan -







Ensenada – Cruise Port

Punta Colnett



Punta Colnett





Isla Cedros – east side mid anchorage



Isla Cedros

Turtle Bay *



Turtle Bay













Bahia Santa Maria *



Bahia Santa Maria

Mag Bay - Just inside Punta Entrada



Mag Bay





los Frailes *



los Frailes







  • NM - Nautical Miles
  • * - Preferred layover locations to wait for better weather but any location can be used.
  • 'Any port in a storm' as they say.

Historically we've laid over a few days in Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria resting up and waiting for good weather. This is our 5th trip on the Baja Pacific coast.

We'll post updates along the way.

Felices fiestas.